You Northeastern Huskies hosted the University of Vermont Catamounts at historic Matthews Arena tonight in the first of a pair in the grand old barn. At the end of 60 it was the Huskies that proved yet again that dawgs are better than cats, as they sent UVM back to their hotel on the short end of a 3-1 victory.
Chloé Aurard got the party started when she cashed in on the power play with about 8 minutes gone in the first. Aurard had a nice give and go with Maureen Murphy coming down the LW into the UVM zone and then put a shot on net from an impossible angle that found home. Put pucks on net and good things will happen.
I mean this should have been a 2-goal lead as Alina Müeller ACTUALLY scored first tonight. The Captain scooped up a loose puck that UVM goalie Jesse McPherson lost track of in her pads and tucked it far side with less than 3 minutes played. Unfortunately, Quick Draw McGraw was wearing the orange band tonight and he called it a no-goal with the fastest puck blown dead whistle you’ve ever seen. I guess that’s the only way to stop Müeller?
After the goal, UVM ramped up the physicality and tried their best to keep NU bottled up. At this time, I’d like to offer a hearty “Welcome Back” to Megan Carter. The smooth skating defender was back in the lineup and it was like she never left. Eating pucks all game and during a first period PK, she froze the puck on the side wall as the seconds just leaked out of the UVM man advantage. Have yourself a game Megan!
In the 2nd period the game was much more even balanced as UVM was clogging the neutral zone and forcing NU to work up and out along the walls. With the F3 always back along their own blue line, the Huskies were gaining entry but dealing with multiple defenders on every entry. It made the game more of a slog, which I’m sure was by design. To make things worse, Lily Shannon got called for a major and a misconduct for head contact. Shannon plays hard but not dirty, so the intent wasn’t there, just a bad result from a hockey play. Thankfully, UVM took their own penalty about a minute later which had the sides skating 4 on 4 for a good portion. NU killed off the penalty and the score held into the 2nd intermission.
Whatever Coach Flint and Co. said during the intermission, they should bottle and sell at all hockey rinks because the Huskies came out FLYING. With just over 4mins gone in the 3rd, Peyton Anderson got the GWG on an unbelievable play in the UVM zone. Vermont was trying to work the puck out of their own end and Anderson picked it off the UVM player’s stick and walked in from the top of the LW circle. Anderson drove the net from the LW and while fending off the stickwork of another UVM defender went backhand/forehand to stash it past the sprawled out McPherson.
That goal ignited the Huskies and they dominated for the duration. Every single UVM possession was challenged and the NU fore-check ramped up even further. A bad bounce at the blue line led to UVM keeping the puck in the Huskies zone and a re-direct found it’s way past Gwyneth Phillips to spoil the netminder’s perfect game. But just as the Catamounts were hoping to crawl back into this one; Murphy capped it off with an ENG to secure the W and send the fans home happy.
- Taze Thompson and Holly Abela were monsters on the fore-check on a line with the Premier Forward in Women’s Hockey Today Katy Knoll. Every time this line rolled over the boards you could almost see the UVM defenders take a deep breath and sigh. I also love how Knoll and Thompson are leading by example for Abela and showing her how “to make some new friends” every shift.
- Megan Carter not only was flawless in her return, she was also named to the Canadian roster for the upcoming Rivalry Series in December (not a big deal).
- The line of Lily Shannon, Peyton Anderson and the Mayor of Kingston herself, Skylar Irving were the best trio on the ice tonight until Shannon got the gate. Just buzzing out there and dominating puck possession.
- Congrats to Maureen Murphy as she becomes the 33rd Husky to achieve 100pts in her career at Northeastern. Murph did it in style with a goal and an assist in the game and it only took her 68GP to hit the century mark. I’m not a math guy, but I do believe that’s more than a point per game. Is that good?
- Mia Brown once again showed why she’s so valuable to the squad. Out there with Molly Griffin and Kate Holmes in limited minutes, they were nails on the wall in the UVM zone and made the Catamounts battle their way out of the zone every time.
- Speaking of being effective in limited minutes… Lily Brazis – you are an absolute nail gun. And I mean that in the most complimentary way possible.
- Abbey Marohn, Peyton Anderson and Megan Carter all were credited with 3 blocks each, but it seemed like there were more than that. Every time a UVM player wound up, there was a Husky blocking the lane. And how good was Tory Mariano breaking out the puck tonight? A one woman breakout. Maude Poulin-Labelle was hunting in the offensive zone tonight too, just a great night from the D corp.
- And lastly, a moment to acknowledge the backbone of the defense. Gwyneth Phillips is on another level. She’s got 17 wins on the season with 5 shutouts and is currently rocking a 0.91GAA along with a .956% save percentage. Those are video game numbers.
The Huskies host UVM again tomorrow at Matthews in a late afternoon tilt. #HowlinHuskies
And lastly a quick shout out to the “Fan of the Game” tonight.
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